England: Should Bellingham be in squad for Euros?
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England will take on Scotland at Wembley Stadium on Friday, June 18th at 8p,m with thousands of Scottish fans expected to travel down to London. But the Mayor of London and the Scottish Government have issued a plea calling for Scottish fans not to travel to London unless they have a ticket due to fears of the spread of COVID-19.
21,500 tickets have been allocated for the match – with approximately 2,600 allocated to Scotland fans – but many more supporters are expected to travel to the capital.
However, due to England’s COVID-19 measures, there will be nowhere for large groups to gather in the capital for the match.
The traditional Trafalgar Square meeting place for Scots is instead being used as a socially distanced fan zone for key workers.
In a statement this morning, Mr Khan said: “I am today urging all fans to only come to London if you have a ticket for the match or if you have arranged a safe place to watch it from, in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
“I want to be completely clear that Scottish fans will not be able to access their traditional Trafalgar Square base as it will be used as a socially distanced Fan Zone for key workers who are helping our city through the pandemic.
“Due to COVID regulations there are no alternative sites for fans to gather in large numbers in central London.”
Jenny Gilruth MSP, Scotland’s Culture Minister, added: “As well as the matches played in Glasgow, there will also be huge interest in the Scotland v England game at Wembley.
“Although we have made great progress, we all still have an important part to play in making sure we keep the virus under control.
“So I urge all football fans to plan in advance how you are going to enjoy the tournament and only travel to London for 18 June if you have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match from.”
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive, said: “Now that the window for Scotland Supporters Club members to purchase EURO 2020 tickets has closed, we ask all supporters not to travel to London for our Group D match on 18 June against England unless they have a ticket for the match.
“I would urge Scotland fans to avoid unnecessary travel.”
The plea comes as scientists continue to debate whether the UK Government should press ahead with the final stages of easing social restrictions later this month.
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Downing Street has indicated Prime Minister Boris Johnson still sees nothing in the data to suggest the plan to end all legal lockdown restrictions on June 21 will need to be delayed.
Under current restrictions from May 17, people in England have been able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, and indoors in groups of six, or two households.
Meanwhile in Scotland, plans to ease lockdown restrictions in much of Scotland have been paused, but the rules in Glasgow are set to relax from Saturday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the move was being made as the country was still at a “delicate and fragile point” in the battle with COVID-19.
Glasgow, which had been under the strictest restrictions in Scotland, will see some relaxation of rules as the city moves to Level 2 from Saturday.
On that date many island communities will move to Level 0 – the lowest level there is under Scotland’s five-tier system – while 15 council areas will step down to Level 1.
Glasgow City Council announced last month it would hold a fan zone event at Glasgow Green for football’s European Championships, which would allow 6,000 people to gather together per day.
Fans will be able to watch the Scotland men’s team play in their first major tournament since the World Cup in France in 1998.
Professor James Chalmers, an epidemiologist from Dundee University said the risk of COVID-19 in outdoor settings such as fan zones is “relatively modest”.
Professor Chalmers told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Although there have been successful trials of outdoor and even some indoor events with testing, outdoor transmission is believed to be much less of a risk than indoor transmission.
“While as a health professional I want as few people to be infected as possible, so I would always say take the most cautious path, the evidence that there’s large-scale transmission in outdoor situations like an outdoor fan zone is relatively modest.”
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